In Night, how do the Jews in the concentration camps attempt to observe their religion in spite of the brutality they face on a daily basis?

Expert Answers
accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is clear that the Jews in the concentration camps initially at least cling to their faith as a support and a comfort in their severe plight. Whilst they are obviously unable to observe their religion in the same way, we are told that they do what they are able to continue their religious practices. For example, in the first few days of their time in Aushwitz, we are told:

Evenings, as we lay on our cots, we sometimes tried to sing a few Hasidic melodies. Akiba Drumer would break out hearts with his deep grave, voice.

Elie goes on to comment that the men would talk about God and what he is doing in and through the concentration camps.

One of the most poignant of these moments, however, is when the Jewish inmates are allowed to celebrate the end of the Jewish year - the festival of Rosh Hashanah. We are told tha the inmates had been allowed to gather together, and that many came. This triggers off a huge crisis of doubt in Elie as he finds it hard to join in the prayer. Likewise, the next day, the day of Yom Kippur, Elie chooses not to fast as a symbol of his increasing disenchantment with his faith.

Therefore the Jews did what they could to continue observing their faith, either officially with the permission of the camp authorities, or unofficially, as and when they could.

apkos | Student
The most significant example, is when they pray once somebody dies in the camp. Another example could be when they don't eat during passover, even though they don't get enough food and nutrition as it is. Both of these examples show how dedicated these people are to their religion.
Read the study guide:

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question